In the face of a chronic shortage in the community for mental health nurses, the University of Newcastle will offer a new mental health care course in 2007.
Deputy Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Liz Bujack, said the shortage had reached crisis point and the course would offer much needed skills to the community.
"The current nursing shortage in Australia is expected to soar to 40,000 by 2010*. As a result, graduate nurses have excellent and diverse career prospects within the public and private health care sectors," Mrs Bujack said.
"There is a chronic shortage of nurses in mental health and aged care which the University is helping to address."
The University of Newcastle will offer 500 places for the Bachelor of Nursing degree at three locations in 2007 - Callaghan, Ourimbah and Port Macquarie.
The program uses advanced teaching and learning methods in all courses including aged care and mental health.
"The University has close collaboration with local area health services providing excellent clinical learning experience. A flexible approach to course delivery means students can benefit from face-to-face learning or receive tuition on-line," Mrs Bujack said.
In addition to places for students who have completed the HSC, or equivalent, The University of Newcastle is offering guaranteed places to students with a Certificate III or above to study nursing. Eligible students need to apply through UAC by Thursday 1 February 2007 at www.uac.edu.au.
The final cut-off date for applying to university or changing preferences is Thursday 1 February 2007. Main round offers will be released by UAC on Wednesday 17 January 2007 and final offers will be released on Wednesday 7 February 2007.
The University of Newcastle will hold an additional Advisory Day on Friday 19 January 2007 at the Callaghan, Ourimbah and Port Macquarie campuses for all prospective students, particularly those who did not receive an offer from the Universities Admission Centre Main Round.
* Reported in the Sydney Morning Herald.